Even as scores of unseemly illegal banners flutter away in Nagpada, local cops suddenly shook out of their slumber to take up cudgels against one, even before they were put up. The reason for this sudden zeal is fairly explanatory — the banners show the local police in poor light, particularly one Umesh Patil, an assistant police inspector attached to the Nagpada police station who was recently found using a two-wheeler with a fake number plate that was allegedly gifted to him by a criminal.
Following MiD DAY’s exposé on Patil (‘Cop patrolling on stolen motorbike!’ March 30), Masood Rehman, a local in the area, had decided to put up posters demanding to know about the status of the inquiry. Rehman had placed an order for a batch of 50 such banners with the intention of displaying them after taking permission from authorities.
Jumping the gun
But desperate to quash the campaign, Patil gathered his staff around him, raided the printer’s shop in Kamathipura 5th lane, and seized all the banners, even detaining the dumbstruck printer, Kisan, who had simply taken the order. “It would have been justified if the cops arrested someone for putting up posters illegally. But what right do they have to detain someone for merely printing the posters? Also if the Nagpada police are so diligent about removing illegal posters, what are hundreds of illegal banners doing in their jurisdiction?” Rehman said.
Rehman, a sand merchant, claims that Patil had a bone to pick with him ever since he complained to the home department about illegal mujras being allowed in Nagpada area. Reading about Patil’s use of a criminal’s bike with a fake number plate in MiD DAY, Rehman started following the case closely, to learn what action was being taken against Patil. Outraged after learning that the case was moving slowly, he decided to put up the banners.
The posters that were confiscated fresh out of the press read ‘We beg for justice and we wait for justice,’ and also draw attention to the fact that no action has been taken against the errant inspector, even though 11 days have passed since the exposé. Assistant Police Commissioner Suresh Nalavde said, “I will inquire into the matter.”